Said show's title is, of course, a witty play on a Boxing rule. Ok, it seems I'm wrong about this. Thanks, Footprints. Even so, the phrase was probably re-popularised by it's common use in boxing. A boxer can be saved by the bell if they have been knocked to the mat and the ref does not complete his 10 count before the bell rings. A fighter can be saved by the bell in any round, only the last round or not at all depending on where they are fighting.

In most boxing matches "unified rules" are used in which a fighter cannot be saved by the bell in any round. Most other rule sets, like for various US states and some areas of the UK and Europe, use the "can only be saved by the bell in the last round" rule.

Even though the rule mainly applies to the situation described above, it could also be used to describe other similar situations in boxing. For example, rounds in which a fighter is "in trouble" and about to be knocked out. If he can keep on his feet until the bell rings he'll get a much needed rest. This applies doubly when it is the final round and the fighter on wobbly legs is well ahead on the scorecard.

It has been claimed that "saved by the bell" comes from the practice of attaching a bell to the inside of a coffin. If buried alive the unfortunate person could ring the bell alerting someone to their horrific predicament. This was almost certainly just a story created more recently though. Versions of this story can found in many different forms across the web. There are also similar explanations involving the Black Death and supposed healing powers of bells. It also seems quite possible that Footprints story is an Urban Legend. On the other hand, the phrase "saved by the bell" most likely did not originate with boxing.

Saved by the bell is an idiom that in English means: rescued from a situation at the last possible moment. Like a boxer, who is down for the count but before the referee manages to count to ten, the bell rings, signalling the end of the round.

But the origin of this idiom is not in a boxing ring. It dates back to 1696, when John Hatfield, a guard at Windsor Castle was accused of falling asleep at his post. If found guilty, he would have been executed. In his defence, he claimed that he heard the bells at St. Paul's Cathedral ring 13 times at midnight. This appeared ludicrous, as the bells are only supposed to ring 12 times. But upon asking the townfolk, it was found that the bells did indeed ring 13 times. John was acquitted. He was 'saved by the bell'.

Saved by the Bell and its spinoffs are sitcoms produced by NBC Productions, Inc. Saved by the Bell first began with 13 episodes as "Good Morning Miss Bliss" on the Disney Cable Channel. Then show changed its name to Saved by the Bell and moved to NBC as part of NBC's Saturday morning T-NBC line up in the fall of 1989. "The Original Series" ended with its last series in 1993, and it is now syndicated on local stations and the cable stations TBS and WGN. Saved by the Bell spun-off two shows:

Saved by the Bell: The College Years(1993-94)
Saved by the Bell: The New Class(1993-2000)

Cast from the original includes:
Mark Paul Gosselaar - Zack Morris
Tiffani-Amber Thiessen - Kelly Kapowski
Lark Voories - Lisa Turtle
Elizabeth Berkley - Jessie Spano
Dustin Diamond - Samuel "Screech" Powers
Mario Lopez - A.C. Slater
Denis Hastings - Principal Richard Belding

Information found at:

On a personal note, my parents recently saw Dustin Diamond ("Screech") at a comedy club in Indianapolis. They said that he was funnier than they had expected (they didn't clarify about what their expectations were). They also said that at one point he mentioned that Mark Paul Gosselaar is a homosexual. I couldn't verify this. But, I don't see why it couldn't be true.

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